Q – Good day and thank you for your efforts on this site. It is wonderful.. We work with an Ensemble agency and they have us on some great mailing lists so we see a lot of the new offers. We just received one announcing a series of upcoming sailings that will go to Cuba. We are wondering if you are recommending travel to Cuba at this time as everyone seems to feel it will be changing very quickly. I imagine you are going to say to do it so could you let us know the best months.
A – Oceania is owned by NCL, as is Regent Seven Seas. Their Chairman is a Cuban-American and has been a leader in establishing cruising authorization to call at Cuban ports. Oceania is a 4.5 star product with some of the best food at sea. Yet, because they are non-inclusive, they have excellent pricing. They also have several ships that carry fewer than 700 guests. We do think Oceania is a line that has the capability to show you aspects of the real Cuba.
That said, ours is one of the few “voices” urging careful consideration of travel to Cuba at this time. We just don’t feel that the tourism infrastructure is adequate for the planned visits of several large US cruise ships per day.
Mid-winter is the time to go. We particularly like January and February. But as you plan ahead, be mindful of the fact that the Trump Administration has not yet sent clear signals as to what its Cuba policy will be. We also don’t know what the Castro regime will do in terms of a reaction to a change in US-Cuban relations from a President who appears to be less inclined to remove travel barriers to the island. If you were a family member, we would suggest that there are other parts so the world where your travel dollars will produce a more satisfying experience. We think you should wait two years and then re-evaluate.